The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations That Win

The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations That Win

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The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations That Win by David Ulrich, Wendy Ulrich, Marshall Goldsmith


"Principled, timely, and engaging, The Why of Work teaches that building a culture of abundance and common purpose is essential to organizational success."
--Stephen R. Covey, bestselling author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"Will have a major impact on how individuals shape their attitude to work, how organizations create abundant cultures, and how leaders turn personal meaning into public good."
--Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan

"The Why of Work shows a better, different way to build and lead organizations. It is an insightful guide to how leaders can infuse meaning into their organizations."
--Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business and author of Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don't

"This book brings the question 'why' to the place in which we spend most of our adult lives, giving us insightful tools to help make a meaningful difference in people's lives."
--Don Hall, Jr., president and CEO, Hallmark Cards, Inc.

"This is a must read for anyone who works, leads others at work, or works to build a supportive environment."
--Beverly Kaye, founder/CEO, Career Systems International, and coauthor of Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay

"The Why of Work opens the door to significant employee engagement. The alignment between company values and those of customers and communities can indeed give employees a sense of purpose while delivering great results to customers!"
--Paula S. Larson, Chief HR Officer, Invesys

"Blackstone has proved that finding superior leaders produces superior results. Dave Ulrich has brought this thinking to a new level at Blackstone. Every private equity investor and senior manager must read this book."
--James Quella, Senior Operating Partner, The Blackstone Group

According to studies, we all work for the same thing--and it's not just money. It's meaning. Through our work, we seek a sense of purpose, contribution, connection, value, and hope. Digging down to the meaning of work taps our resilience in hard times and our passion in good times. That's the simple but profound premise behind this groundbreaking book by renowned management expert Dave Ulrich and psychologist Wendy Ulrich. They've talked to thousands of people--from rank-and-file workers to clients and customers to top-level executives--and synthesized major disciplines to identify the "why" behind our most successful experiences.

Using the model of the "abundant organization," they provide you with the "how" to create meaning and value in your own workplace. Learn how to:

  • Ask the seven questions that drive abundance
  • Understand the needs of your customers and staff
  • Personalize the work to motivate your employees
  • Build and grow your business in any economy

By following the Ulrichs' step-by-step guidelines, you will set off a chain reaction of positive and enduring effects. Employees who fi nd meaning in their work are more competent, committed, and eager to contribute—and their contribution will result in increased customer commitment, which delivers a winning performance on the bottom line.

The Why of Work includes targeted checklists, questionnaires, and other useful tools to help you turn aspirations into action. Using the proven principles of abundance, you can coordinate your needs with those of your employers, your employees, and your customers--and create a vision that resonates for years to come. When you understand why we work, you know how to succeed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071744249
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
Publication date: 06/18/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

About the Authors
Dave Ulrich
's work passion has been how to build organization capabilities (systems, processes, cultures) that create value to multiple stakeholders, then to help leaders build intangible value in organizations. Working with over half of the Fortune 200 and with companies throughout the world, he provides seminars, writes books, and coaches leaders to build sustainable organizations by turning customer and investor expectations into personal and organizational actions. He helps leaders move beyond employee engagement to helping employees find real meaning from work. He is a professor of business at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and co-founder of The RBL Group. He has written 15 books covering topics in HR and Leadership; is currently on the Board of Directors for Herman Miller; is a Fellow in the National Academy of Human Resources; and is on the Board of Trustees of Southern Virginia University.

Wendy Ulrich, Ph.D., has been a psychologist in private practice in Michigan for over twenty years. She is founder of Sixteen Stones Center for Growth in Utah, offering seminar-retreats on abundance. Their work with organizations and individuals intersects at helping people find meaning at work. Dave works to rethink and redefine how organizations work and Wendy works to help individuals rethink and redefine their own lives. At the same time, they are committed to the importance of the organization's responsibility to shareholders and investors as they respond to external conditions.

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The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations That Win 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Brien_Convery More than 1 year ago
The IBM Competitive Edge Book Club, open to all Sales, Marketing, and Communication professionals at IBM, voted and selected "The Why of Work" as the Q3 2010 book selection. Overall feedback from the members was good. In the feedback from the members, we ask them the question - "What will you do differently in your job since your study of this book?" Some of the replies directly from the members included: - "This book gave some good insights of things to consider during the career planning process." - "I will incorporate some of the suggested techniques when trying to solicit input and motivate my coworkers and customers." - "For me, that will cause me to remember to think about my passions when I am doing career planning and focus on the quality of my networks at work." - "I have already incorporated the suggested exercises to a client meeting I am hosting on Friday!" - "Empathy toward teammates in work and interaction" I would like to personally thank Dave and Wendy for being apart of the IBM Competitive Edge Book Club experience and given our team a book that has real application for them at work and at home. Best Regards, Brien Convery IBM Business Operations Leader and Competitive Edge Book Club Leader
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is a great integration of many disciplines. It offers readers a glimpse into why meaning matters and into what meaning means in organizations. The ideas are applicable to all types of organizations ... large or small, public or private, global or domestic. Any leader will succeed in the future by doing more than actions and by creating emotions or meaning among their people. The tools in this work are specific and useful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Dave and Wendy Ulrich's book about abundance is itself an example of abundance. Dave, a business writer, and Wendy, a psychologist, sweep you up in a tide of leadership ideas, processes, quotations and stories that hammer home a thesis so right and true you might mistake it for common sense: Workers who care about their jobs and understand why they work will exceed your expectations and break the boundaries of their job descriptions. They will better serve customers who, in turn, will bind themselves to the thoughtful firm that produced such an enlightened staff. If this sounds like the yellow brick road, the authors cobble together ample gold paving stones to build a solid path toward fulfilling your firm's potential. They explain how every person and organization can change for the good, while earning a profit. Along with positive psychology and happiness research, you will find useful grids, summaries and assessment tools to help you shift staid cultures and motivate stale staffers. Some of the advice is soft and general; the authors acknowledge that they skim the surface of various disciplines. Yet when the Ulrichs become specific about how to build relationships or cultivate creativity, they show you concretely how to nurture a firm where business results and human development work together. getAbstract recommends this book to executives, managers and human resources personnel who hope to serve their customers and the world through deeper service to their employees. Read more about this book in the online summary:
XenophonHasapis More than 1 year ago
Just as its title suggests, this new book from Dave and Wendy Ulrich is full of questions. And I find that herein lays the beauty of the book. Dave is an expert management advisor, story-teller and teacher, with a rare grasp of the universal meaning of life and his feet firmly based on the ground. In his 20-plus books so far, he has taught us valuable, practical concepts concerning leadership and the management of people. I personally consider myself fortunate to have attended both Dave's public presentations in Athens, Greece. In "The why of Work", Dave is partnered by Wendy, an acclaimed practicing psychologist. And I suspect that Wendy has been instrumental in giving the book its questioning character. After all, a psychologist's prime duty is to come up with the right questions, and ask them in a way that helps the mind and soul flourish. There is an abundance of ideas about the meaning of work, which is the subject matter of this book. And there is much more. It takes a skilful duet, to present its teachings in the form of questions, without annoying the reader. No one better, than the Ulrichs. Could it be that they sense the topic of "abundance and meaning in working life" is a personal terrain, and they chose not to dictate? In any case, the reader benefits richly from immersing in the exercises and self-assessment tools that accompany each chapter. In doing so, you come away with not just a good understanding of the "why of work", but also many ideas that can help you help others give and get much more from it. Finally, if you admire Dave Ulrich, as much as I do, you must read the pages he talks about his late father. In this personal and unparalleled narrative, you will find the answers to what makes a man so kind, generous, and also passionate and inspiring, and yet so humble and grateful for the treasures life gives us every day.